A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
What happened to the John McCain who actually disagreed with President Bush and wasn't afraid to stand up in Congress and say so? What happened to this moderate Conservative who seemed to have a little common sense in this world full of NeoCons and Evangelicals and people who hooted and hollered for War?
When John McCain ran in the Presidential Primary for the Republican Party, he was given the Karl Rove treatment. Yes, he was Roved...just as John Kerry and Max Cleland were subjected to these nasty rumors and namecalling that Rove is paid to compose. McCain, it was said, was the father of an illegitimate Vietnamese baby. He was no hero at all, it was said, but was actually a friend of the Viet Cong, accepting favors from them in exchange for better treatment, at the expense of his fellow prisoners.
Has John McCain forgotten all this? Has he become so forgiving that these rumors have been brushed aside like a buzzing mosquito in the ear? Or does he explain them by saying that politics are a dirty business and one has to expect such rumors? After all, he couldn't sing like the Dixie Chicks and get his revenge with an album.
Whatever happened, John McCain suddenly became religious. He began spouting God talk! Every speech he has made has been peppered with references to God and his faith, which has mysteriously sprouted just as he started campaigning for the presidency.
He isn't the only one. Rudy Guiliano, too, has found religion. It's God this and God that. And, of course, he's sorry. Newt Gingrich is sorry, too. They committed adultery, but God has forgiven them, this bunch of the sorriest sinners we have ever encountered, with the possible exception of Jimmy (Boo Hoo) Taggert, who sobbed so pathetically in his plea for forgiveness from God.
Gingrich even admitted he was committing adultery while mouthing moralistic phrases during the Clinton Impeachment. Of course, we all know that, in the eyes of Republicans, God forgives all sinners....except Clinton!
So, the Sorry Sinners have joined McCain in injecting God into their speeches, like sprinkling cinnamon on a sugary bun. One would almost think that they were pandering to the Far Right in order to get their votes! It is a thought that crosses the mind, for sure, a lingerous suspicion, like the feeling that it is going to rain when the flies start clinging and biting and clouds start to gather.
Mitt Romney has gone one better. He has proclaimed himself a "hunter," in order to please the conservative NRA crowd. Yes, he hunts. He has hunted twice, it is said, once many years ago and one recent excursion. He explains that he didn't shoot a very big animal. Obviously, he differs from Cheney, who shot a very big animal, indeed!
So, we have a bunch of pentitent sinners who want to be President, all of them Republican, and including Fred Thompson, the politician-actor who has jowels like a bulldog, but who so far hasn't said a word about God or hunting.
McCain, who is not the favorite candidate at the moment, somehow decided to approve the Surge of troops for the Iraqi War. Bush has suddenly become his best buddy and they both agree that victory in Iraq is nigh. Nigh impossible, the Democrats say, so McCain had to counter the opposition by claiming that a person could walk safely down a Baghdad street with no worries. Yes, that wartorn land is brimming with peace, sunshine and victory! No longer are bombs bursting in air or beneath the pavement! The Surge is surging, the birds are singing and the Iraqi can emerge from the rubble! McCain then felt he had to back up his words with a trip to Baghdad.
There he went, this seventy-some year old Senator, down a street to a marketplace, white head held high. He was covered by a troop of about a hundred young soldiers, armed to the teeth. Helicopters hovered over the market, circling the place. Snipers watched from nearby windows. And McCain wore a bulletproof vest.
Not since George Bush wore a pilot suit, landed on the deck of a carrier and proclaimed "Mission accomplished" has an American politician given so much material to the late night comedians. Others are more serious, wondering how much these Photo Ops cost the American taxpayer. What's the price of a sniper these days? How much gas does a helicopter soak up in a few hour's time?
One comedian said that Baghdad is as safe as Detroit. There IS a similarity. In Detroit, we have Drive By Shootings, with bullets killing one or two people. In Baghdad, we have Drive By Suicides, with hundreds dead and injured. But, people from Detroit assure me that Drive By Shootings are down. It's the price of gas, they say. Now we have Roller Skate By Shootings. Barring that, they have to walk.
Well, whatever happens, we can depend upon the politicians as fodder for comedians. Comedians have their place in the world. A good dose of Bill Maher and even Bush would be ready to call the troops home. As for John McCain, at his age, he's lucky to be able to walk at all! He should stay home in safety and practice quail hunting with Mitt Romney. Or perhaps that is more dangerous than a trip down a Baghdad street. A bulletproof vest doesn't ward off a face full of buckshot. They can ask Cheney about that.
By the way, I have heard there is a street in Detroit one can walk down unarmed in absolute safety. The thing is, I don't know how many helicopters are available in Jennifer Granholm's fleet and I don't know if bulletproof vests are available at Walmart.